One in five Brits to make mobile payments in stores this year

UK: Mobile payments still looking to grab a foothold — eMarketer — “Just over 22% of UK smartphone users will use a phone to pay for goods and services at the point of sale (POS) in 2018… China has the largest mobile proximity payments market in the world, with 77.5% of smartphone users doing so this year. Within Europe, the UK’s smartphone penetration rate will rank behind Norway (23.3%), Sweden (33.8%) and Denmark (38.9%) in 2018.”


Chinese government teams up with WeChat to offer digital social security cards

China’s social security system turns to WeChat for electronic ID — South China Morning Post — “Government trials in 26 cities will have Tencent’s WeChat replace traditional state-issued social security cards with digital version tied to users’ accounts… The WeChat-based electronic social security cards will enable users to provide their identification, status, payment records and other relevant information to official online inquiries about benefits and insurance coverage.”


Alipay reports mobile payments adoption stats

Mobile devices handle some 80% of Alipay’s online payments in 2017 — ECNS — “New data from Alipay show 82% of the transactions on its platform in 2017 were made through mobile devices, mostly smart phones. This ratio is said to be an all-time high… There were 520m Alipay users in China, or around 37% of the country’s population, in 2017… More than 40m small retailers across China, according to Alipay, established their own quick response codes in 2017… Bus and subway networks in more than 30 Chinese cities began allowing passengers to pay fares via Alipay through 2017.”


Honda to let drivers use Alipay to make payments from cars

Honda to team up with Alibaba in connected cars — Nikkei Asian Review — “The Japanese automaker will work with the Chinese e-retailing titan’s AutoNavi business. They plan to develop a service that lets drivers make reservations using AutoNavi maps and make payments via Alibaba’s online platform Alipay. Decisions will be made soon on when to make the service available on which vehicles.”


China’s central bank to begin testing QR code payments registration and settlement regulations from April

China’s central bank to standardize QR code payment — Xinhua — “The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced plans Wednesday to regulate QR code payment to contain risks arising from the popular service. Payment institutions must obtain proper permits to offer barcode-based payment services, according to a document released by the PBOC. Both banks and non-banking payment institutions must channel cross-bank transactions involving barcodes through the clearing system of the PBOC or other legal clearing houses… The standards will be put into trial use from April.”


Guangzhou pilot lets consumers use WeChat to create an official digital ID

WeChat poised to become China’s official electronic ID system — South China Morning Post — “The WeChat ID programme was co-developed by the research institute of the Ministry of Public Security and Tencent’s WeChat team, and supported by various banks and several other government departments. The project is expected to help deter online identity theft, as facial recognition technology is used to verify applicants before their virtual ID cards get authorised. Those verified will be able to use their WeChat ID to register in hotels and apply for government services without the need of bringing their physical ID cards.”



Central bank requires Chinese mobile payments providers to set aside customers’ prepaid funds

China’s central bank to raise reserve funds ratio of third-party payment firms to 50% — Reuters — “China’s central bank said it will gradually raise the reserve funds ratio of third-party payment firms to 50% by April 2018 from a current rate of 20%, as it continues to ramp up regulation of the industry… It will eventually ban non-bank payment firms from making any private investments with money deposited by users, which would see the reserve rate at some point increased to 100%.”


JD.com to deliver online orders direct to Chinese consumers’ cars

JD.com, electric car maker Nio partner on ecommerce delivery-to-vehicle service — Marbridge Daily — “JD.com’s self-operated logistics service JD Logistics and Nio are in the process of connecting their systems so that consumers will be able to select ‘delivery to vehicle’ when purchasing goods through JD.com. Using the vehicle’s location, an authorized delivery agent will deliver the package within a given time window to the recipient’s trunk, which will be accessed via keyless entry.”


Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing enters the payments market

Didi Chuxing picks up a payment license — Caixin — “Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company, is speeding into the payments business, acquiring a much-coveted license to join the red-hot internet financial-services arena. Didi has agreed to fully acquire third-party payment-services provider 19Pay for 300m yuan (US$45.4m)… Last year, the PBOC said it would control the number of third-party payment licenses issued, making it increasingly difficult to get a license.”


China’s JD.com to open hundreds of unmanned convenience stores

Chinese online retailer JD plans to open hundreds of unmanned shops, ahead of Amazon — The Telegraph — “Chinese online retailer JD.com has beaten Amazon to the next stage of the shopping revolution by announcing plans to open hundreds of ‘unmanned’ convenience stores. The shops have already been trialled with JD’s 10,000 employees at headquarters in Beijing and use facial and recognition technology to register payment and product identity, meaning that customers do not have to wait in a checkout line.”


UnionPay details its mobile payment app for China’s banks

Unified app of China’s banking industry, ‘Mobile QuickPass’ officially launches today — China UnionPay — “The ‘Mobile QuickPass’ app is a unified mobile payment portal jointly developed and maintained by commercial banks and UnionPay, under the guidance of the People’s Bank of China. Customers are able to link their bank cards to the app, manage different bank accounts, and enjoy the mobile payment services and benefits offered by each bank. The services offered by this app also include UnionPay QR code payment, signing up for various mobile payment solutions, comprehensive credit card services, P2P real-time transfer and payment services in various scenarios.”


China UnionPay launches mobile wallet app

UnionPay takes mobile payment services fight to Alibaba and Tencent with integrated app — South China Morning Post — “UnionPay said the app could be linked to more than one bank account by different banks with all of their mobile payment services accepted and conducted via the platform… The country’s dominant bank card clearing service provider also launched a nationwide promotional campaign with aggressive discounts to attract consumers who have been increasingly using Alipay and Tenpay services for shopping.”


One in three ‘connected consumers’ in India now use mobile payments

Kantar TNS study reveals the rise of mobile payments in India — Kantar TNS — “Mobile payments have seen a sharp rise with one in three (35%) connected consumers in India using it. The popularity of mobile payments in India is also revealed by the number of regular users, with 23% saying they use mobile payments at least once a week. The results of the study showed that India (35%) is ahead of other APAC countries like Indonesia (9%) and Philippines (7%) but has still a lot of catching up to do with the likes of China (94%) and Singapore (65%) where mobile payments have become a more regular habit.”


Chinese consumers made 1.48bn Alipay purchases on Singles Day

Spending climbs by 39% on this year’s Singles Day — China Daily — “Bargain hunters splurged by spending a record 168.2bn yuan (US$25.3bn) during this year’s Singles Day… Nine out of 10 people used mobile wallet apps for payment, said Alibaba, with its Alipay app having handled 1.48bn transactions in 24 hours and processed them at a peak rate of 256,000 transactions per second.”


Chinese retail giant to open unmanned stores with face recognition and RFID tags

Suning to open four new unmanned stores in China — Suning — “Highlights include: Facial recognition — After linking a bank card and going through the facial recognition on Suning Finance app, customers will be able to enter the store simply by letting the camera scan their faces at the entrance. Effortless shopping experience — To check out, shoppers only need to carry their goods along the payment pathway. The system will automatically recognize the shoppers and their items with the facial recognition and RFID technology – making the entire check-out process shorter than 15 seconds.”


China UnionPay tests NFC and QR transit payments

Public transport alliances set to boost UnionPay — China Daily — “In the first 19 cities where UnionPay pilot mobile payment applications will be used in public transportation, UnionPay provides users with comprehensive solutions including mobile phone QuickPass, bankcard QuickPass and QR code payment… According to Ge Huayong, president of UnionPay, more than 40 banks now accept UnionPay’s QR code payment transactions and an additional 60 or so banks are testing their systems.”



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